New Delhi: Billionaire Anil Ambani, head of the Reliance Anil D Ambani Group, has alleged that comments attributed to Mukesh Ambani, the estranged brother and head of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), who was quoted in a 15 June article written by Anand Giridharadas of ‘The New York Times’, were “false, defamatory, malicious and totally baseless...”
In a letter written from Mumbai by the law firm of Mulla and Mulla and Craigie Blunt and Caroe, Anil Ambani has sought for a “clear, unambiguous and unqualified” retraction and apology from Mukesh Ambani, ‘The New York Times’, as well as Mint, which has a syndication agreement with ‘The New York Times’ and published the article on 16 June.
A file photo of Anil Ambani (left) head of the Reliance Anil D Ambani Group with his brother Mukesh head of RIL (Photo by: Sebastian D’Souza/AFP)
The article also appeared on the front page of ‘The International Herald Tribune’, which is also published out of Hyderabad, though the letter does not name that newspaper.
The comments cited in the letter were from an interview as part of ‘The New York Times’ in-depth profile of Mukesh Ambani.
In a letter, Anil Ambani’s lawyers claim: “Our client has been libelled by the following allegations and statements made in the said article: ‘What most distinguishes Reliance from its rivals is what Ambani’s friends and associates describe as his “intelligence agency”, a network of lobbyists and spies in New Delhi who they say collect data about the vulnerabilities of the powerful, about the minutiae of bureaucrat’s schedules, about the activities of their competitors. Mr. (Mukesh) Ambani said in the interview that all such activities were overseen by his brother (Anil Ambani) before they split, and had since been expunged from his tranche of the company. “We demerged all of that,” he says, breaking out in a belly laugh...’”
The letter says the statement implies “that our client continues the operation of the said alleged intelligence agency, its network of lobbyist and spies and its various unethical and subversive activities” .
The letter, dated 20 June, is addressed to Mukesh Ambani, the reporter Giridharadas, Clark Hoyt, the public editor of ‘The New York Times’, Arthur Sulzberger Jr, the chairman and publisher of ‘The New York Times’, as well as the editor and publisher of Mint.